Ever since I can remember I’ve had psariasas, it’s been bad, mild, sever but seldom never there. It’s part of me and something that very rarely bothers me, but it does control me, it controls every decision that I make wether I realise it or not. Starting from what I’ll where for the day, short sleeves or shorts, short dress or maxi dress. To be honest I don’t even own many short dresses and shorts because I don’t bother buying them.
So once I’m dressed, I then have to decide what the kids and I will do for the day, shall we go swimming or the park? Well can’t go swimming so it’s off to the park, again!!
Oh wait I have a message on my phone, it’s a friend offering me a free makeover session and manicure as part of her training, result! Wait, sorry can’t do that due to the horrendous state of my nail psariasas!
Despite all of this I just get on with things and it’s not much of a big deal, I often forget until I’m reminded by strangers glancing at me and that’s quite rare. But when people do notice they always feel they need to tell me how they suffer with dry skin on their elbows and show me the extent of their dry skin problems, I’m sure this is to show some empathy but really what they fail to see is that there just showing me how amazingly bad my skin really is and the only person who’s feeling good in the conversation is them.
Pregnancy is always like rolling a dice when it comes to psariasas, hormones can affect the body in so many different ways and in both my pregnancies this was true. My first pregnancy turned out
To affect my psariasas in the worst possible way, which was even more bitter sweet as I had been clear for 3 years before. After my daughter arrived it settled but did not clear again until I fell pregnant 3 years later with my second child. My second pregnancy turned out to be completely different, I had amazing skin and I was even going swimming. But then at 36 weeks pregnant it gradually became worst again. It was OK though, I’m used to it!!
And how sad is that, that I’m so used to being a scabby mess that I’m resolved to letting it control me. It’s not just sad but up until recently turned into a real problem, but with the help of friends I think I have finaly overcome it.
Because recently I had an out break that was so sever that there was no way I could ignore it or keep going, I had to ask for help.
About 3 months ago I became very ill, my glands were swollen, I couldn’t eat, I was hot and cold and my throat was inflamed. And gradually my psariasas got worse, but it was so gradual I barely noticed the change. It wasn’t typical of my usual psariasas, my skin had changed and it was red and inflamed all over. It was sore to the touch and even walking and my clothes touching my skin was unbarable. Breastfeeding was starting to get uncomfortable and painful and the skin flakes had gone to another level.
Even my doctor had to admit that she couldn’t help me and could only refer me to the dermatologist as an urgent case. Well that referal never came, I patiently waited 7 days, getting worse and worse each day. On the 7th day I couldn’t even walk or put my shoes on and I had developed a sore under my breast that just wasn’t healing. I was a mess and I felt completely broken, I couldn’t even take my daughter to pre-school. I was finally ready to fight for my treatment and not put up with what I had just got used to being normal.
After ringing the doctor’s back and finaly getting someone from the dermatology department to talk to me I was given an appointment….. in 5 weeks! I politely described my symptoms and the severity of my outbreak and assured them that without an appointment my only option would be A&E. I was then offered an appointment that day within 2 hours.
Since that appointment I have received treatment and am slowly getting better, as I’m breastfeeding my treatment was a bit complicated. It may have taken a while for the hospital to see me but I can not fault the care I’ve had . I’ve been given options and clear information in regards to the medication I’ve been given and they’ve seen me regularly to assess the results.
I can not say what the doctor’s thought once they saw me I can only tell you of my experience, from visit to visit. For example my first visit I had one doctor see me on arrival and than she refferred to her colleague, who both saw me and then sent me for relevant blood tests and medical photos. I was then asked by the medical photographer if she could go on to use the photos for an up and coming medical photography competition which would then see my photographs used in a number of medical journals. Of course at this point I’ve got nothing to loose and as a fellow photographer I’m happy to see something positive come from my situation, basically as long as I don’t have to see them, knock your self out!
4 days later when I returned to the hospital and I was greeted with 10 doctor’s, my two original doctor’s and a number of their colleagues, who had all seen my photos and we’re keen to see how my prescribed treatment had affected me over the weekend. I got the feeling now I was a bit of a medical spectacle and not a typical everyday patient. These were not student doctor’s that were coming to see me but seasoned professionals that seemed to be called in to give their medical opinion and to see a case that quite frankly was shocking.
I’m suprised my ears hadn’t been burning and fell off over the weekend as these guys were well up to speed and had seen my pictures and read my medical notes. But still I was being treated and to be honest I actually liked the fuss I was getting, in a way it made me start to realise that I shouldn’t have been making do all these years and people cared enough to study and dedicate their studies to a specialist field because people like me needed help.
So more treatment was prescribed and 2 weeks later on my third visit I was greeted with the same fan fair, the same doctor’s keen to see how my treatment was working and how much I had improved. I could now walk with comfort and I wasn’t as flaky, the redness of my skin had gone down and I wasn’t so sore. I was happy and to be honest if my treatment had ended that day I would have been happy with what I was left with, how sad is that? But that was the old me, the new me wanted to finaly be free of this skin burden.
I’m now receiving regular Ultraviolet treatment twice a week and my skin looks so much better, although this week I started to get unbearable itching as a side effect. Which I’m told is quite normal. I’ve had to take some antihistamines and so far that’s managed to help.
In a way I’m glad that this happened to me as it’s forced me to take better care of myself and stop taking my skin problems for granted. I’m just hoping now I can get on top of it, I’m not expecting to be psariasas free at all but a little clearer would be nice!
1 week after treatment.
Today, 2 months after treatment.